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Menu Planner: Cucumber, kalamata and tomato salad completes your meal

Cucumber, kalamata and tomato salad. (Courtesy of Rizzoli)

Cucumber kalamata and tomato salad

Makes 12 (1-cup) servings

Preparation time: 15 minutes


3 large seedless cucumbers, chopped

5 small red and yellow tomatoes, sliced

1 small red onion, sliced into half-moons

1 cup kalamata olives, pitted and halved

1/3 cup olive oil

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

1/2 teaspoon coarse salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1/3 cup crumbled Greek feta cheese

In a large serving bowl, combine all vegetables. In a small bowl, whisk together oil, vinegar, salt and pepper; pour over cucumber mixture and toss to coat. Cover and chill at least 2 hours. Top with feta before serving.

Per serving: 114 calories, 1 gram protein, 10 grams fat (79% calories from fat), 1.5 grams saturated fat, 5 grams carbohydrate, 4 milligrams cholesterol, 311 milligrams sodium, 1 gram fiber.

Carb count: 0.5.

Barbecue meatloaf

Makes 6 servings

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 50 minutes to 1 hour


1 1/2 pounds 93% lean ground beef

1/2 cup dry breadcrumbs

1/2 cup finely chopped onion

1/3 cup barbecue sauce, divided

1 tablespoon prepared mustard

1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon coarse salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

2 egg whites

Heat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine beef, breadcrumbs, onion, 1 tablespoon barbecue sauce, mustard, chili powder, garlic powder, salt, pepper and egg whites. Shape mixture into a 9-by-5-inch loaf on a broiler pan coated with cooking spray. Spread remaining barbecue sauce over top of loaf. Bake 50 minutes to 1 hour or until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees. Remove from oven; let stand 10 minutes. Cut into slices.

Per serving: 254 calories, 26 grams protein, 9 grams fat (34% calories from fat), 3.3 grams saturated fat, 15 grams carbohydrate, 64 milligrams cholesterol, 391 milligrams sodium, 1 gram fiber.

Carb count: 1.

Turkey-raisin picadillo sliders

Makes 8 sliders

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: about 30 minutes


1 tablespoon canola oil

1 medium onion, chopped

8 cloves garlic, chopped

3 bay leaves

1 tablespoon cumin

1 teaspoon chili powder

1/2 teaspoon ground allspice

1 1/4 pounds ground turkey breast

Coarse salt to taste

Freshly ground pepper to taste

1 (6-ounce) can no-salt-added tomato paste

3/4 cup water

1/2 cup golden raisins

8 whole-grain slider rolls

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Heat oil on medium in a Dutch oven. Add onion and garlic; cook and stir 5 minutes or until softened. Add bay leaves, cumin, chili powder and allspice; stir together for 1 to 2 minutes. Add turkey, salt and pepper. Cook 5 minutes or until turkey is no longer pink. Stir in tomato paste, water and raisins; cook 5 minutes to blend flavors. Reduce heat to low; simmer 10 minutes or until thickened. Toast rolls in oven until lightly browned. Remove bay leaves. Spoon turkey mixture onto rolls and serve.

TIP: If too thick, add more water.

Per serving: 237 calories, 21 grams protein, 5 grams fat (18% calories from fat), 0.7 gram saturated fat, 28 grams carbohydrate, 41 milligrams cholesterol, 223 milligrams sodium, 2 grams fiber.

Carb count: 2.

Gnocchi with tomato sauce

For a no-meat dinner that hits the spot, add 1 (16- to 18-ounce) package gnocchi to a pot of boiling water; cook according to directions and remove with slotted spoon when they float to top. Add 1 (6-ounce) package baby spinach to water once gnocchi has been removed. Boil spinach 1 to 2 minutes; remove with slotted spoon; drain. Set aside. Meanwhile, puree 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes with basil, oregano and garlic. (I used my immersion blender for easy cleanup.) Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large nonstick skillet on medium. Add 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper to skillet; cook 1 minute, stirring. Stir tomatoes into skillet. Cook 4 minutes to thicken. Stir cooked gnocchi and spinach into skillet. Divide mixture among 4 bowls; top each with 2 tablespoons shredded part-skim mozzarella and 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil.

Thai beef and noodle salad

Put 1 (3 3/4-ounce) package cellophane noodles and 3/4 cup halved snow peas in a large bowl. Pour 4 cups boiling water over all. Let sit 10 minutes or until noodles are tender. Drain; rinse under cold running water and drain again. Shake colander to remove excess water; return to bowl. Combine 1/4 cup white vinegar, 2 tablespoons sugar, 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger and 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt in a jar; shake to dissolve sugar. Pour dressing over noodles and snow peas. Add 8 ounces thickly sliced deli roast beef (cut into strips), 1 1/2 cups sliced seedless cucumber and 1/2 cup chopped fresh mint. Garnish with chopped peanuts and serve.

Parma-style flounder

In a small bowl, mix 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary, 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Brush one side of 4 (6-ounce) flounder fillets with olive oil; sprinkle each with spice mixture. Wrap a slice of prosciutto around center of each fillet; set aside. In an 8-by-11-inch baking dish, arrange 8 tomato slices in a single layer; drizzle with another teaspoon oil. Microwave on high (100% power) 1 minute. Place flounder in a single layer on tomatoes; cover with waxed paper. Microwave on high 3 minutes or until opaque throughout. Remove from microwave; let stand 2 minutes, covered.

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